Sound — 9
The versatile and distinct sounds of this unit was why I bought it! With 16 amp models, 16 effects, TAP button, and several cab modelers, you can't find a better buy for this kind of money! I play through a Line 6 Spider 112, and when matched with the Line 6 POD, the sound quality just soars! Helpfully, in the user manuel, Line 6 supplies the reader with wonderful, detailed examples of how to set up your POD and amp to make them coincide just the way you want. The amp models are great, and I could not be happier with them, especially for this kind of money. The effects are good, but are do not have much of a range. The POD either produces weak effects or overly strong/loud effects, and its hard to find good settings for a midrange. I'm quite partial to the delay and swell settings. They have always been dependeable and give me a great sound. The chorus seems to artificial and doesnt quite cut it.
Overall Impression — 9
In the simplest of terms, I love my POD. It has never given me trouble, and I can not imagine playing without it. To me, it has become a steadfast companion to the rest of my rig, and I would not hesistate to get a new one if it was ever stolen or broken. I have been playin roughly 5.5 years, and this is by far my favorite piece of equipment. As I continue to advance and change styles, I find that I can still rely on my POD and always tweak it to where it suits my style. The only problem I have with playing it is that I can't always use it effectively with acoustic guitar. The chorus does help to create a nice sound, as do the bypass and preamp settings, but I would not recommend this to a solely acoustic player. The only other complaint I have is the lack of quick changing. I wish that it was in the form of a mutli-effects pedal (such as the Boss ME-50 or one of the DigiTech GNX series), but to compensate for that I just bought the $50 controller. If you feel that strongly about having the POD in a pedal form, I'd suggest you check out the POD Live. Overall, the POD is an excellent tool. I'd recommend it to both beginners and veterans as either a strong recording component or as a wonderful live tool.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The POD can sure take a beating! I have gigged with it several times, recorded with it, jammed with it, and carry it with me wherever I go if I'm going to play, and I have never had a single problem with it! It has a nice adapter that does not take up more than one slot on a power strip/outlet. This may seem like a worhtless feature, but since my powerstrip is packed with other adapters for pedals, I really like how small the POD's is. I personally have no problem with using this on a gig without a backup. Never in my two years of owning this have I had trouble, and I have already performed succesful gigs without any problems with my POD.
Ease of Use — 7
The POD is a wonderfully engineered piece of technology. Even though the 2.0 features 36 presets, choosing them is very simply. All you have to do is simply dial in the number of the preset you want, by using up and down buttons. Saving your own settings is a breeze as well! You simply have to push the "save" button, tricky huh? While I love the versatility of my POD, if you are using it live as a multi-effect tool, it is horrible switching. Without any pedals, everything is manual, and unless you enjoy songs with periods of no sound while youre switching, the standard POD set up is not for you. However, I do suggest you do as I did, and buy one of the optional controllers. You either have to buy the 4 button foot controller (the FB4) or the floordboard which also includes a volume pedal and a wah pedal. I bought the FB4 and use my own wah and other pedals. Other than this, it is very easy to use!